Yesterday was a wild, dramatic, memorable and life-altering day. My friend and fellow Bent Tree staff member Aaron Bensko (who is our Visual Arts Coordinator and I’ve blogged about his amazing work before) was put into the ICU, after being rushed to the hospital.Â
Aaron had the flu and was at the doctor to get a shot. Apparently he passed out and when he fell, he crashed head first. He fractured his skull and had bleeding in his brain and out his ears. When I saw him in the ICU he knew me, but he looked rough and has a tough road ahead of him.Â
I tell you this for a couple of reasons. To ask you to pray for Aaron and his family, but also to allow something like this to put things back in perspective – as it did for me. I, and my video intern, are working on editing video for Easter ’til late each night and will continue to for the next 2 weeks leading up to Easter. We, like many churches, are working crazy hours and running around like crazy getting ready for the big weekend.Â
As I saw Aaron lying in the bed and realized that he was “out” for our Easter projects and plans (he was heading up one of our huge Easter projects that I now doubt we’ll be able to do), I quickly saw God putting things back in perspective.Â
Friends, life is short and life is precious. I want to encourage you right now as you’re coming down the home stretch and feeling the strains, pains and stresses of Easter to put Christ and your relationship with him first. Remember your family and hug them. As I saw Aaron in the hospital bed, I couldn’t help but think that I would want my kids around me. So I went home and saw them for a while before heading back to the hospital again.Â
I hope you have an amazing, impactful and wonderfully worshipful and creative Easter, but I urge you to keep all this in perspective and know that life is precious.
In order to allow our people to experiece life as one of our church planters and partners in India, we created Maratha Experience. This was an inspiring, colorful, self-guided tour through the streets of Pune, India (complete with goats). Big props to Aaron Bensko and our Visual Arts team. Below are some pictures from the experience – which was created in one of the hallways of our church.
A couple of things that I’m proud about last week’s Fine Arts Day Camp at my church:
- The great leadership by our own Karen Johnson (who is a vital part of our staff).
- The tremendous amount of talent and heart that went into the week.
- The hundreds of volunteers that gave of their time.
- The way the various Worship & Art Ministries worked together to encourage, train and equip the children. Worship & Arts ministries that participated were music, drama, dance, visual arts and technical arts (my team).
- My staff and the youth that served in tech all around the campus throughout the week. There were rooms all over the campus using sound, video and lights.
- My technical arts volunteers that came out Friday to serve for the end of the week musical.
- I’m most proud that all this happened while I was in South Carolina. True leadership is working yourself out of a job. This was a huge deal and I was able to be away and see my team flourish. I thank God for the team I get to lead!
The set built by our Visual Arts team, led by Aaron Bensko, and the lighting done by our own Scott Row:
Side close-up view of the set:
This is what 400 kids on the stage looks like:
At Bent Tree our Visual Arts team has been busy on a few projects. Remember the giant door? It’s now hanging in our community space (see above). They are also working on hanging giant windows with various pictures in them around our campus.
Later this month, they will be busy designing the set for our Fine Arts Day Camp (pics of that to follow afterwards). For the Fall, they are working on something special for our official “Grand Opening” in September and a look for our seeker series entitled “Pennies on the Track”. Below is an early idea (this photo was taken by our Visual Arts Coordinator, Aaron Bensko).
Aaron and his team just finished a cool project. They painted a giant hand on a wall they built for the back of our stage. What was really cool was that they revealed what the picture was week by week. It started out just a white wall, then a white wall with a few painted squares on it. Each week the Visual Arts team would reveal more of the picture. Last week the hand was revealed fully for the first time. Where did the hand come from? Aaron took a picture of our Audio Coordinator, Tom, holding his hand up. Our team of painters made the magic happen based off that picture.
Here is the wall they built and fastened to our back wall:
Here is stage two:
Here is the hand coming together:
Putting the finishing touches on:
And they’re done:
Here are some different looks of the set/stage during worship yesterday:
Here is a close-up look of a dance we did during the song “None But Jesus”: